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An old story; Longevity

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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 I hesitate to write this article as most of my peers would consider it a form of spiritual materialism but this is definitely not the case at all. Since our health is adversely affected by greedy corporations, then proper information along with the right conclusions are surely needed. If the antidotes are non-harmful then they need to be spread far and wide. As we wake-up and see the suffering all over the world and within ourselves it is quite alarming. Yet these harsh lessons help us to really know how to live life properly. We must quickly realize that our bodies are so overwhelmed by radiation, toxic pollution and heavy metals right now. We get them from the air we breathe, unnatural food we eat, and cosmetics/shampoos we put on our body. All the commercial beverages we eagerly consume quickly add to the problem. The following story was taken from Dr. Subhuti Dharmananda and revised to make it clearer.

The secret:

The Buddhist priest Wenxiang was devoted to the art of nourishing life. In 812 A.D. he was on Maoshan early in the morning, and there, in the vicinity of cave, he met an old man and said to him: “You have the appearance of an immortal. I will reveal to you a secret formula.” The priest related the following story to him:

An ancestor of He Shou Wu, who lived in the district of Nanhe in Xunzhou, was originally named He Tianer and was later called Nengzi. He was born impotent and had turned to drinking wine. At the age of 58, he returned home drunk one night and was overcome by sleep while still outside. When he awoke again, he noticed on the field two shoots of climbing plants, which stood about 3 feet apart.

The sprouts of these shoots were twisted around each other and then separated, three or four times. Thus, the original name of the plant is called jiaoteng or Chinese cornbind.

Tianer considered this to be strange and, therefore, dug out the root of the plant and asked all the people in the village and the wilderness, but no one was able to tell him its name. Thereupon he dried the plant in the sun. A man living nearby was an excellent jester and said to Tiener:

    “You are impotent, you are old and childless. This climbing plant struck you as peculiar, now surely it is supposed to serve you as a divine drug. Why don’t you take it?”

Thereupon, Tianer sifted out a fine powder of the drug and took it with wine. After 7 days, he suddenly recognized clearly the principles of human life. After several tens of days had passed, he felt unburdened and strong, and he could barely control his sexual desire.

He married a widow named Cen and continued to take the drug regularly after that. He then increased the individual dose to 2 qian [about 6.2 grams]. After over 700 days, all of his previous complaints had disappeared, he regained his youthful appearance and begot a son. The people in the neighborhood were very astonished at this. During the following 10 years, Tianer became the father of several sons. He ascribed all this to the drug and said:

    “This was caused by the climbing plant. When one takes it, one can live to be 160 years old, and yet it is neither listed in the old prescriptions nor in the materia medicas [bencao].

Herbal elixer:

Ho-shou-wu (pinyin: heshouwu) is derived from the roots of Polygonum multiflorum. The herb was originally called jiaoteng, referring to its form: an intertwining vine (jiao = intersecting, teng = creepers).

Synonyms: Chinese climbing knotweed, Chinese cornbind, Chinese flowery knotweed, fo-ti root, he shou wu (Chinese), and zhihe shou wu

He Shou Wu is a tonic for the endocrine glands, it improves health, stamina and resistance to disease. It is used to reduce cholesterol because of its lecithin. It is used for angina pectoris (coronary artery disease), hypoglycemia, diabetes, schizophrenia, epilepsy, chronic bronchitis, head injuries, impotence, malaria, bloody stools, night sweating, sores, cuts, and ringworm. It promotes red blood cells, helps rid intestinal parasites, and is good for resistance to cold.

If oregano leaf is the king of herbs, as MH puts it, then jiaoteng certainly is the king of elixirs since there have been a few recorded cases of people who lived well into their hundreds.

Longevity cases:

1. Ho Shou-Wu:

A monk advised Mr. Ho to eat jiaoteng gathered from a mountain, which he then consumed regularly.

Soon after, he was able to father several children, his hair turned from gray to black, his vision improved and his body became more youthful.

He lived to age 130 although some say he was really 160, still with black hair. Since then, the herb has been called Mr. Ho’s hair is black (shou = head; wu = black).

2. Li Ching-Yun:

It seems that Li Ching Yun consumed mostly a diet of wild plants and fruit. On occasion he did eat fish and wild meat. He was also a firm believer in the movement exercise called the Eight Brocades. In addition to practicing alchemy the herbs he consumed regularly were He Shou Wu, Ginseng, and Wu Wei Zi (Five Tastes Fruit) along with wolfberries (goji berries). He ate the fruit raw and cooked the He Shou Wu with the Ginseng. In a New York Times article on May 6, 1933 the headline wrote: LI CHING-YUN DEAD; GAVE HIS AGE AS 197 My experience:

Living in these times is quite a challenge and even dangerous. While this present generation has gotten the worst of it, it is important to have qualified help and seek solutions that alleviate all these physical and mental problems. In my case, I have mostly ignored my body in favor of practicing meditation.

Recently, I had a tooth/gum problem that I had chosen to ignore for several years. It seemed to be getting worse when I finally chose to examine it in detail and up close. I had gotten to the stage where I either needed to do something or suffer the consequences. Since I didn’t like the consequences, I chose to take action. I began by taking some of MH’s herbal formulas that had plenty of minerals in them. I figured I could add minerals to my body and hopefully see improvement. After a week there were clearly no results that I could perceive.

    So, I looked around and noticed I had several 5 year-old bottles of Fo-ti root in liquid form. For several days I had contemplated throwing them away. First I wanted to check if it obeyed nature or not.

I went on line to research it. Since it came from a plant I decided to try it out. I took one dropper full and immediately within one hour I found my hair was revitalized and I actually felt good. Amazingly, after three days taking the product about 80 percent of my gray hair is now gone. My hair seems to be coming in thicker and stronger too. I immediately stopped taking all the other herbs in order to distinguish what the fo-ti root was doing to my insides. I read that it creates red blood cells and increases circulation in the body. It detoxifies the kidneys and liver and increases the yin jing. While this may be true that wasn’t the real discovery.

After a few days of taking the herb, I placed it under my tongue and let it sit there for a few moments. Soon, I could sense exactly where the energy was going – right to my thymus center. I felt a little pain just below my collar bone and took that as a signal that my thymus was toxic and slightly damaged. The key area that was being detoxified was the thymus gland.